Any time a technology or service starts making headlines with words like "hot" or "explode," it isn't long before you start seeing forecasts and magic quadrants and vendor projections with revenue forecasts and fun abbreviations like compound annual growth rate (CAGR), invariably followed by hefty percentages expected in a five-year bracket.
The question, though, is whether telecom service providers will ever achieve the forecasts or predictions in those reports. Better still, are they even trying to?
To answer those questions, Heavy Reading created the Thought Leadership Council (TLC), a new initiative to provide a direct view into the plans and strategies of the world's leading telecom service providers, which are in the process of transforming their networks and services to compete in the global digital economy.
A key facet of the Thought Leadership Council (TLC) is that participation is completely confidential, so members can share their ideas and experiences freely. It is made up of service provider experts focused on key areas of telecom development, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), network and service automation, 5G and emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous vehicles and virtual/augmented reality systems. TLC participants are drawn from service providers around the world and include a mix of wireline, mobile, cloud, fiber, data and broadband network operators.
Findings from TLC focus groups will be presented in a new series of reports to be published on a monthly basis.
For its first report, TLC focused on IoT and where service providers are in terms of deployment and revenue expectations. Results from the report, "IoT Focus Group: Revenue Growth Will Be Hard Work," show that service providers in the focus group don't expect to see significant revenue from IoT for at least three years, and it could take up to ten years.
Service providers in the focus group are actively involved in planning and building new networks and services, so they have a deep understanding of what's happening with telco transformation. But at this time, they don't have definitive plans for generating revenue from IoT. These findings and others in the report indicate that IoT revenue will probably take longer at the service-provider level than current popular forecasts suggest.
Each TLC panel will include only service provider experts who have direct involvement in the subject area for each focus group. Upcoming TLC focus group reports will cover SD-WAN, 5G, Automation, B/OSS Transformation and Emerging Technologies.
— Denise Culver, Director of Online Research, Heavy Reading